Instant Pot Beef Ragu

Story by Holly
bowl of instant pot beef ragu over pappardelle noodles topped with parmesan cheese
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Our Instant Pot beef ragù is ready in under an hour, but tastes as rich and savory as if it had simmered all day long. 

Pasta Night, Done Right 

Oh, hello. Have you met our new BFF, the Instant Pot? Well, we highly recommend that you two become acquainted, because this little pressure cooker is a magical device that takes makes dinnertime a lot easier and a whole lot faster. 

The proof is in this easy meat ragù recipe. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth shredded beef simmers with tomatoes, carrots, and fresh herbs for a ragù sauce that’s deeply satisfying. Served over buttery egg noodles, this saucy supper is the coziest dinner we can think of. The best part is that it’s incredibly versatile, making it a back pocket recipe we’ll reach for time and time again. 

What's an Instant Pot? 

You’ve probably heard friends or family buzzing about their Instant Pot—but what exactly does it do? Well, technically the Instant Pot is simply a “pressure cooker and multi-cooker”—in other words, It’s a slow-cooker, steamer, sauté pan, browning pan and electric pressure cooker, all in one. “Pressure cooking” is a method of cooking that uses pressure to cook food quickly—it uses both heat and pressure to simulate slow-cooking methods, like braising or simmering. 

spaghetti squash cut in half topped with instant pot beef ragu

How to Make Braised Beef Ragu 

If you’ve never cooked with an Instant Pot before, there is a slight learning curve. But, with a little practice, you'll get the hang of it, and this simple meat sauce recipe is a great place to start! Here’s how to make our easy beef ragù recipe: 

  1. Sauté—one of our favorite Instant Pot settings. Once the olive oil is nice and shimmery, stir the vegetables until soft, and add everything else to the pot.  
  2. Set the Instant Pot to the “meat/stew mode” and get cooking! Select high pressure for 35 minutes. 
  3. Careful! Leave the steam valve on "natural release" until the float valve is all the way down. Then open the lid and remove the beef to shred. 
  4. Return the beautifully braised meat back to the Instant Pot, and set it on sauté mode one last time. Allow to cook until sauce thickens. 
  5. Enjoy! 

What’s the Difference Between Ragù and Bolognese?

“Ragù” is an umbrella term that refers broadly to a category of Italian sauces, and bolognese is actually a type of ragù! In other words, bolognese is a kind of ragù, but not all ragù is bolognese—got it? Ragù recipes can vary, but typically they’re made with ground, minced or cubed beef, a few vegetables (think simple—carrots and onions, usually) and sometimes (but not always) tomatoes. 

bowl of instant pot ragu over zoodles

How to Serve Beef Ragù

There’s no wrong way to gobble up this easy, beefy classic. We love to eat it: 

  • Over egg noodles (most traditional)
  • Over veggie noodles like spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash, for a healthy spin on this Italian classic.
  • Over polenta (Um...yum! We also like to do this with our meatballs and pot roast for a nice change of pace from pasta).


Tools You’ll Need: 

More Cozy, Simple Weeknight Dinners

There are a few things we love more than a rainy night spent around the dining table, enjoying a homey meal made with a dash of love and a whole lot of flavor. 

The Instant Pot: Taking the Guesswork Out of Dinner Since 2010

We have no doubts this quick beef ragù will become a family favorite. If you make this dish in your own kitchen, snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!  

Instant Pot Beef Ragu

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3.5 lb chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 (28 oz) can whole stewed tomatoes
2 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 tsp allspice, ground
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup beef stock

Method

  1. Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Heat the olive oil and add in onion, celery and carrots. Stir until vegetables are soft. Add in remaining ingredients, squeezing the whole tomatoes with your hands to crush them before adding them and their juices. Give ingredients a quick stir and close the lid.
  2. Set instapot to the meat/stew mode and allow to cook for the set high pressure 35 minute cook time. Once finished, leave the steam valve on natural release until the float valve is all the way down.
  3. Open lid and remove beef to shred, discarding any large pieces of fat in the process. Once shredded stir beef back into the pot and return to saute mode. Allow to cook until sauce thickens.

Serve over polenta, fresh pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.